Good Morning, Universe

goodmorning universe

It’s barely afternoon, and the Universe has brought love, hope and loss. The late Susan Jeffers, author of Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway, encourages readers to ‘Say Yes To Your Universe.’ Sometimes that’s easier than other times.

There’s a new doctor at my GP surgery, and I had an appointment with him first thing. yes, he’s young, handsome, and he was also very good at listening to hsi patient. No preconceptions, no barriers, direct and approachable. We talked of reducing medication and came up with a plan. We talked about side-effects of some of the medication and came up with another plan to help monitor them. When i said I didn’t drink, but would quite like to have a gin and tonic, he didn’t blink (or,indeed, offer me one – although, to be fair, it was 9am!) He dismissed a previous doctor’s suggestion that I had PTSD, saying that it sounded like an understandable response to my surgery and cancer diagnosis. And, for the first time in 3 years, he’s going to check my cholesterol levels. He even reminded me about upcoming flu jabs. Nothing special, but it’s a pleasant change to be heard, understood, and build some trust with a doctor. Proper ‘bedside manner’. Ooh Matron.

Which inspired me to go the gym. Usual changing room banter. But there’s a huge muscular guy sat just coming out of the shower, still dripping. He’s chatting to his mate, and his posture is slumped, almost defeated. He speaks slowly, deliberately and my attentions is drawn because it’s unusual to hear such a faltering tone from any of the guys. He’s telling his mate about catching up with n old friend last September – gym regular, ‘beautiful looking blond bloke known by everyone, really nice’ and how he’d noticed he lost weight. They arranged to meet because they hadn’t seen each other fr so long. The guy had really, really lost weight, and Gym Buddy persuaded his wife to call an ambulance and take him to hospital. He was diagnosed with an inoperable tumour, and recently died, just a year after. Gym Buddy was planning to go to the funeral.

He was still in the changing room after I finished my workout an hour later. Still mourning, missing a friend who he admired, respected – loved. He was also in shock, wondering how such a thing can happen. It seemed incongruous, a changing room full of muscular bods (mine included – ha!) and for there to be such a sense of sadness and mourning. We barely acknowledged each other as I returned and he left. I spent a while cooling down, thinking about his story. About the ups and downs of life. Saying yes to your universe, and embracing the sadness and joy it brings.

I left the gym and went to the supermarket. I bought a lot of chocolate. The gin will have to wait – for now.

I got home and looked out the window, where a couple of magpies were chattering noisily. Two Magpies. One for sorrow, two for joy.

Two for joy. Hello, Captain.

ooo matron, it was just a little stroke

Last week, I was dribbling with a droopy face (according to my mother). Not the sort of thing you want to hear from family on a Sunday morning, and definitely not the look you want. So an ambulance was called, and another day spent in hospital. Fortunately, all the test proved fine. I had a scan (it was like putting your head in a washing machine), which managed to find a brain but nothing sinister.The fear that it might have been a stroke proved groundless, and they also didn’t think it was Bell’s Palsy as there was no sign of infection in my urine sample. The nurse was a bit shocked when I  handed her the sample (in what amounted to a cardboard egg box)  and said ‘It tastes fine!’ Last Monday I had a follow-up appointment at the Transient Ischaemic Attack clinic – and more tests – of course, blood tests (the blood didn’t stop flowing so I left the cubicle looking like something out of a Tarantino movie,  dripping a trail of bloodfrom my arm onto the floor They gave me a neck a neck scan (‘the type of scan you have if you’re pregnant’,the doctor explained, although I was pretty sure that wasn’t the problem and did wonder why they’d scan your neck to see if you’re pregnant anyway)- ‘You have a very good neck,’ said the Doctor. ‘Thank you, it’s one of my best features’ I replied. So, apparently everything is OK, and it’s just One Of Those Things. Which isn’t actually very reassuring as all I heard the Doctor say when he explained it was ‘BLAH BLAH BLAH TIA Stroke BLAH BLAH BLAH arterioscleosis BLAH BLAH BLAH happen any time.’Apparently, my translation isn’t so accurate as he was  explaining there’s nothing to worry about.However, I’m extraordinarily gifted in always being able to find something.

Especially asI wasn’t even aware of anything happening. And he observed that my face was definitely dropping on the left hand side.  I just happen have an asymmetrical face and even when normal look like someone who’s had a stroke. Charming! I feel like Dali’s melting timepiece, The Man In The Iron Mask or Karfel from the Doctor Who episode – Timelash. I just paperto to  find a paper bag to put over my head, or a sinister mask.  Can I get a   SCREAM mask on the NHS? I’d love to see the faces as I walk into hospital wearing that.

In the meantime, I’m on a gym rehab programme. I’m sure it’s not right to have the background music for recovering heart surgery patients to be Queen’s Killer Queen, It seems to give out the wrong message, although all I said to the physiotherapist standing over me with a whip and a taser to make me work HARDER, HARDER, was ‘It’s a bit 70’s, isn’t it?’ He was humming along quite happiy. It shouldn’t bother me as I bring my own ipod, although I always dread what’s going to come on my shuffle,as I either tend to mince along to the handbag anthems, or start singing out loud without realising it. I’ll let you know how a bunch of OAPS react to me belting out ‘I was a Male Stripper In a Go-Go Bar…’

I’m now hoping to stay out of hospital for at least a couple of days. And looking to Work That Body at my next gym session. Apparently, it’s likely to involve weights. I hope nothing else will start drooping as a result. Otherwise I’ll need an enormous paper bag, and possibly a onesie.